Aluminum is one of the most versatile and reliable metals there is. Not only it is lightweight and pliable, but it is completely recyclable regardless of its state, meaning that we can reuse it over and over again. Thus, you can use the material for tons of projects, making it much more versatile than other metals like stainless steel.
However, even though aluminum is relatively easy to work with, you still have to be careful about drilling through it. Most drill bits are not designed to punch through such material, which means that they will either start to get dull rather quickly or they will chew through the stuff and wind up ruining your project.
So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at the best drill bits for aluminum. Each of these is highly rated not only for this metal but even harder ones, meaning that they will be a welcome addition to any tool kit.
Bosch CO2143 1/4 In. X 4 In. Cobalt Drill Bit
FeelGlad(TM)5pcs Titanium Step Drill Bits Set with Aluminum Case
CO-Z 5pcs Hss Cobalt Multiple Hole 50 Sizes Step Drill Bit Set with Aluminum Case
Neiko 10194A Titanium Step Drill Bit
MOHOO 50PCS 1/1.5/2/2.5/3mm HSS Shank High-Speed Steel Mini Drill Bit Set
Kicking us off is this individual bit from Bosch. This company is well known for making high-quality consumer tools, and this bit shows the attention to detail that has made this brand famous.
What we like most about this bit is that it is made of cobalt, meaning that it can withstand higher temperatures and more friction without breaking down.
Overall, when working with aluminum, you want something this robust and reliable as it will make your job that much each easier. In fact, this particular model is so tough that it can punch through cast iron.In addition to being made of such strong metal, this bit comes with a triple-sided no spin shank, a 135-degree split point tip, and wider flutes to remove debris quickly while you drill. Overall, this bit is great for all kinds of metal work, not just aluminum.
For the most part, aluminum comes in sheets, which means that you don’t have to punch through that much material. In that case, working with a step bit is usually preferred because you can get a wider range of sizes without having to buy a huge set of bits. So, if you want extra versatility and reliability, you want to go with something like this set of five step bits from FeelGlad.
What we like about these bits is that they are made of durable high-speed steel, which is more than strong enough to punch through any kind of aluminum sheeting. Not only that, but they are coated with titanium to further reduce the heat and pressure, ensuring a longer shelf life for each bit.
Other features that we appreciate are the fact that you get ten different widths with each bit, they come with 135-degree split point tips for better precision, and they have no spin shanks. The aluminum case that they come in is also remarkable, particularly the soft foam interior that ensures that each bit stays in pristine condition.
If you like the idea of having a set of step bits, but you want something a bit stronger and more reliable, then you will most likely want to get these from CO-Z. Instead of being made of high-speed steel, these bits are mixed with cobalt, giving them some added punch and heft that will allow you to work with all kinds of metals.
In addition to the robust material, these bits come with all of the standard features. They have wide 135-degree split point tips to reduce walking and ensure better precision. They have titanium coating to reduce heat and friction and keep them sharper for longer. Finally, they come with ten different widths on each bit so that you can create a wider variety of holes.
The other great thing about step bits is that they deburr your holes automatically. This means that you don’t have to invest in a separate tool to provide this function, making them even more valuable. Overall, if you’re going to get step bits, these are the ones to buy.
Our next step bit comes in individual pieces, meaning that if you ever have to buy a replacement, or you simply want to have fewer bits taking up space on your shelves, this is the way to go.
Overall, the Neiko Step Bit is pretty standard, which means that it is both reliable and versatile. This particular model is made of high-speed steel and comes with a titanium coating to ensure longer shelf life.
It has ten different widths, which are each printed on the side for convenience. It has wider flutes to remove material that much faster, and it comes with a 135-degree tip to reduce walking and ensure more reliable penetration. Finally, it has a no spin shank so you can drill with even greater ease.
Whenever you are working with metals, one thing to keep in mind is that bits will wear down and potentially break over time. This is just a side effect of putting it through so much heat and pressure, which means that it’s always a good idea to have spares. In this case, the set of 50 mini bits from MoHoo ensures that you always have backup bits, no matter what.
What’s interesting about this set of bits is that they are designed for smaller holes and applications. While most drill bit sets go up to about ½ or ⅜ inches, this one maxes out at ⅛, meaning that you are limited in how big you can go. However, as long as the sizes are good for your needs, you’ll get a lot of mileage out of this set.
With 50 bits, that means that you get ten of each size, from one to three millimeters in width. They are made of high-speed steel and come with titanium coatings so that you can reduce heat and friction. The only downside (besides the limited sizes) is that they don’t come with a carrying case. Overall, though, if you need miniature and reliable drill bits, this is the set to buy.
After looking through these bits, we have to say that our top picks are the Bosch CO2143 and CO-Z models. We like the reliability and strength of these bits, and we also appreciate the added versatility of getting step bits, which is why the CO-Z set is so desirable. Overall, when working with aluminum, we highly recommend getting both kinds so that you can do any kind of project with ease.
To make sure that your drill bit will be able to stand up to aluminum, it has to be strong and resilient. Typically speaking, metal on metal contact can be damaging as it produces a lot of friction and heat. Thus, pay attention to the construction of your bit, and make sure that it’s one of these two materials.
As the name suggests, HSS is designed to withstand higher rpms in the drill without breaking or melting. These kinds of bits can chew through aluminum with relative ease, and can even take on harder metals such as stainless.
If you want the most reliability and durability, then you have to go with this metal. Cobalt bits are made to punch through hardened metals without breaking or wearing down, so you can work with a lot of aluminum and still have your bit ready to go.
Considering the amount of wear and tear that comes from drilling through metal, one issue that comes up a lot is the dulling of the tip. As such, you have to make sure that it’s built at a wider angle so that that won’t happen as fast. There are two primary angles you can find with standard drill bits: 118 and 135 degrees. Whenever you work with any kind of metal, you have to make sure that you get the latter option. Not only will it last longer without breaking down, but it will reduce the amount of “walking” that your bit will do when trying to punch through.
I believe there is a handyman in all of us as long as you have the right tools. I started this blog to help anyone who is interested in fixing things to learn their way around the different tools and to know how to perform different DIY tasks. I have been doing this for years and believe I am a master of this art.